Women’s Day Special VFX Interview – Marta Pohl, Post Producer, Platige Image
March 8, 2020 – March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD). This day has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911. The day is not country, group or organization specific – and belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. It encourages everyone around the world to make International Women’s Day their day and do what they can to truly make a positive difference for women.
International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. For more info visit at www.internationalwomensday.com
Today, Marta Pohl talks to VFX Online about her experience as a woman working in the VFX and Animation industry.
// From Marta Pohl, Post Producer, Platige Image
How do you describe yourself professionally?
I do the dirty work. Really, I am a producer, but in animation it’s a wide concept. Aside from typical producing job, meaning keeping in touch with the client, negotiating and planning the production, I need to have a grasp on graphics and animation, and follow the industry trends. This helps me to understand the art team and work faster.
What sparked your interest in visual effects?
The industry in Poland looks slightly different than in Canada or the U.S. Our company was established in 1997, and I joined in 2004. Back then our primary direction was animation plus commercials, with a sprinkle of VFX for feature films. This kind of company was unseen on the Polish market. I decided not to delve into feature films or documentaries, since there were dozens of these in production. I wanted to try something new, and it was a right call.
How did you enter in this industry?
Back then getting to know a company was incredibly important. Thus, every producer started as… receptionist. Yes! It was a great place to learn every aspect of the work, get to understand people, and get to know them in an instant. Only after that I started to help on minor projects, and at some point I began to manage my own products and campaigns. But the knowledge I got at the reception desk is useful even today.
What’s your greatest achievements in VFX/Animation Industry?
Apex Legends: Voidwalker
What is the current state for women in the industry?
Until recently, just a tiny percentage of women was involved as producers. This is slowly changing. More and more women, thanks to their hard work, is promoted to managerial and directorial positions, where they make key strategic decisions. In Platige, more than 80% of the production department are women. We sometimes joke that only women can with stand the lightning fast pace of work and at the same time ease disputes and conflicts during the production.
What is it like to be a professional, working woman in your line of work?
I don’t know what does a ‘professional’ feel. I just work, and I do my best. I have big clients and big challenges, but this isn’t different from any other work. Being a pro in our industry means simply getting your project to completion with a satisfied customer, without any budget ardor HR losses.
Which is your favorite film in VFX and Animation and why?
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse! A fantastic animation and outstanding cinematography. I’ve never been a fan of comics, but after this film, I started leaning towards them. Let me say it again: the animation is astonishing! Every pose, every move are planned and acted out in such a good style. A tremendously well shot movement and action. A must see for every fan of animation.
What was your Best VFX/Animation project worked for?
Apex Legends: Voidwalker. It’s my newest ‘baby’. A complex animated movie made with brilliant people, in cooperation with the largest video game IP out there. Frenetic pace, a lot of issues to resolve, but we’ve managed to wow the viewers. We’ve made our contribution to a huge title, which makes me feel very proud.
What do you think about less woman nominated for Oscar/VES/BAFTA or any other?
I’m not accusing anyone, it’s just a competition. It depends on the jury, but also on the creators. If there are fewer women nominated, this means something isn’t working. May be it’s the approach of women as directors or creators is too complex and hard to understand for the viewers? I would avoid trying to artificially increase the number of female nominees. It’s futile to try to make one group privileged due to sex, skin tone or religion. We should appreciate what creators have to say, not what kind of people they are.
Which direction would you like to take your career in the near future?
At the moment I’m staying with Platige Image. What will the future hold? Who knows?
What advice would you give to women who wish to get into this industry?
Girls, there is no perfect solution for getting noticed in the industry. No school or knowledge can prepare you for the job of a professional producer. You could advance from being a receptionist to production – it’s hard, but possible. You can do it. Don’t give up. Fight for your place, because this industry is in constant need of new people.
What is your International Women’s Day Greetings Message?
May your dreams come true, and may you never stop trying to reach that goal.
We would like to thank Marta Pohl for the great interview, and if you like to know more about her, check out her LinkedIn.